Broken neck could end career of Bengals' Pollack

Updated: November 10, 2006, 11:38 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

David Pollack
Pollack

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker David Pollack undoubtedly has Dec. 13 circled on his calendar. That's the day when Pollack will meet with doctors to decide whether he'll ever play football again.

Pollack fractured the C-6 vertebra in his neck against the Browns on Sept. 17 and was placed on injured reserve the following day. Still wearing a protective halo to get his neck in place, Pollack visited the team's locker room Thursday at Paul Brown Stadium.

"If I'm not more likely to get hurt again, then I'll play," Pollack told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "If I am, then I won't. Cut and dried. It's a very real possibility that I won't play again. At the end of it, if the doctor says I'm 5 percent more likely to get injured again, there's a zero percent chance I'll ever play again. That's a fact."

The 24-year-old Pollack, a first-round pick from Georgia in 2005, has played in 16 games for the Bengals, starting six.

Pollack said he has used his time away from the game in prayer and Bible study. He said there are few distractions because of his limited mobility.

"I'd love to play football; it's what I've done for so long," he told the Enquirer. "But in the end, really, if I'm more likely to get hurt, God doesn't close one door without opening another one. He's got something special for me, regardless. There's going to be something cool. There's going to be something awesome."